Legal Requirements/Overseas Couples/Apostille Stamp/Elopements
What a civil wedding must contain in Australia.
- Australian law defines marriage as “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”
- Your marriage may take place on any day, at any time and any place in Australia, or within Australian territorial waters.
- At least two people over the age of 18 years must be present at the marriage ceremony to act as your witnesses.
- You and your partner, must sign and lodge with your celebrant, the “Notice of Intended Marriage” form, a minimum of one calendar month before your wedding date. The “Notice” is valid for 18 months, and requires proof of birth
and photo identification.
Documents accepted are: Australian or overseas Passport: OR birth certificate and driver's licence.
- If either party has been married previously, evidence of how last marriage ended is required- either a certificate of divorce; or a death certificate if the previous partner has died.
For the purpose of preparing your marriage documents, emailed copies of your identification will be accepted, BUT
PLEASE NOTE: Your wedding cannot take place until your celebrant has seen original documents.
From overseas and wish to marry in Australia?
Anyone can be married in Australia.
We can easily arrange the complete ceremony by email, and by the time we meet, we will feel that we have known each other for ever!
I must receive your completed Notice of Intended Marriage form at least one month before the marriage takes place.
This is a legal document, and must be completed accurately.
Your signatures on the Notice must be witnessed by one of the following:
- An Australian Diplomatic Officer
- An Australian Consular Officer
- A Notary Public – A person in any country publicly authorised to attest contracts and perform other formalities. Someone authorised to witness legal documents. A Notary Public is found in most legal firms.
- An employee of the Commonwealth authorised under para 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955 An Employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under para 3 (d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955
Once the Notice has been completed, and signatures witnessed, the Notice should be forwarded to me by email, and the original by registered mail.
However, if you will arrive in Australia longer than one month before your wedding, and if we are able to meet within the required time, I can witness your signatures on the Notice when we meet.
Identification documentation must be viewed by your celebrant.
When you arrive in Margaret River I will view your Identification documents. If not in English, you must have them officially translated. www.naati.com.au
If either party has previously been married, you must show evidence of how that marriage ended. eg A divorce or death certificate. (original documents, not photocopies).
Couples from some overseas countries, who marry in Australia, require an Apostille stamp placed on the official copy of their marriage certificate before their Australian marriage is recognised as a legal marriage in their home country. Please check with your own country to find what is currently required for your Australian marriage to be recognised in your country.
After your marriage, I will lodge all documents with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, for registration. It usually takes about 2 weeks for your marriage to be registered.
You then need to obtain a copy of your official marriage certificate from the registry by making application, and paying the appropriate fee. (Currently $44)
The official Marriage Certificate must then be delivered to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), in Perth with a request for an Apostille stamp to be affixed to the certificate. (The fee is currently $60).
You can get the certificate stamped while you wait, or have it posted to you in your home country or to an address in Australia.
Further details can be obtained from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. www.dfat.gov.au
Eloping? – I love elopements!
It makes no difference whether it is a small intimate gathering or a huge event, the ceremony is no less important, and the legal requirements are the same.
Refer to Legal requirements above.
If you have no witnesses, I will find 2 witnesses for you. If you are hiring a photographer, he/she will always act as one of your witnesses.
Please contact me to discuss further.